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AP governor acts tough

Hyderabad, March 4: Bureaucrats close to former chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and the state’s petrol dealers have already felt the lash of governor E.S.L. Narasimhan’s whip since Andhra Pradesh was put under central rule on Saturday.

Sources said Narasimhan was reviewing all the decisions taken in the past two months by Reddy, who resigned on February 19 in protest at the Centre’s decision to divide the state.

The governor has revoked the transfers of several bureaucrats to plum posts that Reddy had ordered in his last days.

“All the files cleared by Kiran Reddy — land grants, appointments, nominations to posts and financial grants — are being reviewed as a matter of routine administrative exercise,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

Narasimhan’s first act, though, had been to accept the challenge thrown by the petrol outlets, which had downed shutters on Sunday night following raids by the weights and measures department.

Yesterday morning, the governor directed the chief secretary to order the petrol outlets to open and cancel the licences of those who refuse. Within one hour, all the outlets were functioning.

Narasimhan has also issued a warning to all politicians, students and any other would-be agitators in Seemandhra and Telangana that he would not tolerate disruption or violence.

The former police officer has always been known as a tough and active administrator, and had been at loggerheads with Reddy, who often accused him of acting like a “super-government”.

He had in the past rejected several of Reddy’s political nominations for the posts of vice-chancellors and information commissioners.

Chief secretary P.K. Mohanty has set up an apex committee of bureaucrats to oversee the 15 panels set up to facilitate the state’s division.

For about a year, these committees and their staff will function under the direct supervision of the governor’s office.

An account has been opened with the Reserve Bank of India in the name of the proposed Telangana government following the President’s assent to the statehood bill on Saturday.

During the transition period of 10 years, Telangana must follow all the laws that are operational in united Andhra. The new Telangana Assembly must pass copycat versions of these acts, state legislature secretary Raja Sadanand said.